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THOSE ON NATURAL HISTORY BEING FROM ORIGINAL DRAWINGS BY EDWARDS AND
OTHERS, AND BEAUTIFULLY COLOURED AFTER NATURE.
BY JOHN MASON GOOD, ESQ. F.R.S.
OLINTHUS GREGORY, LL. D.
PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY, NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE; AND
OF CAMBRIDGE ;
DEPARTMENTS OF LITERATURE.
CROSBY AND CO.; SHERWOOD, NEELY, AND JONES ; SUTTABY, EVANCE, AND CO.;
P R E FACE
Ox contemplating the advantages likely to accrue from a General Scientific Dictionary of moderate extent, and popular language, it must be obvious in the first place, that it is peculiarly suited to the occasions and conveniences of persons who have neither leisure nor opportunity to recur to the several sources of information which will naturally be consulted by those who prepare such a work for the public eye. It is desirable to meet, and, as far as possible, to gratify the spirit of enquiry which prevails among such persons; to save them the trouble of consulting a variety of works from which they could derive but little information ; to lay before them what is most useful in opinions and in practice, and to guard them against what is dangerous in either.
To others, whose acquaintance with particular branches of science precludes the absolute necessity of their application to such a work, it will communicate general information concerning subjects to which their attention may not have been so immediately directed; and thus afford them leisure for gratifying their taste or inclination in researches which they may deem more important or more pleasing, and in which they may be more ambitious of excelling.
The young and inquisitive, whatever be the peculiar object of their investigation, will think it no inconsiderable advantage to be directed by references, subjoined to a variety of articles, where they may prosecute their inquiries with satisfaction: whilst those who are proficients in science will find it useful, on many occasions, to consult a dictionary as they would refer to a common-place book in order to assist their memories, without the labour and the loss of time which it would require to recur to a greater number of distinct treatises, whence their knowledge was originally derived. Thus, although a professed mathematician would not study mathematics, nor a philosopher philosophy, nor a divine theology, nor any professional man the subjects that form the basis of his profession, in a dictionary, yet all persons may receive benefit from it even in the line of their profession or favourite pursuit; and much more in disquisitions and inquiries remote from the course of studies to which their situation or inclination leads them. Indeed, agreeably to the well-known observation of an eloquent and wise ancient*, all knowledge has a common bond, and is brought into union by points of contact more or less numerous; so that a man will not be able to arrive at eminence as a mathematician, or a chemist, without being
*Etenim omnes artes, quæ ad humanitatem pertinent, habent quoddam commune vinculum, et quasi eognatione quadam inter se continentur. Cicero pro Archia. VOL. I.